Plan your work and work your plan, is a mental strategy you can develop to improve your golf performances. Since golf is a game, I choose to use the word play instead of work.
Even if you have played your home golf course for years, you can learn how to score lower and choose more accurate decisions when you plot out your best strategy for playing each hole. The challenge then is to see how well you can carry out your strategy and achieve the results obtainable in your plan.
Actions speak louder than words and the Nike Just Do it! are also well known phrases. Before the golf season is in full swing, why don’t you take action and analyze the way you play your home golf course?
PGA and LPGA Tour players have a hole by hole playbook to refer to even though they might have played a course many times. Play a practice round without keeping score, to plot the best possible route for your personal game. Your GPS would be helpful to determine distances. Put together your personal playbook by drawing a sketch of each hole and green, recording the pertinent information for each one.
The golf course architect designed each hole with a specific purpose. If you look at the holes from the architect’s perspective, you might find a better way to play them.
Golf is a game where the position of your golf ball is vital for scoring. Without a plan it is easy to beat yourself. Professionals and competitive amateurs have a written strategy to play each hole for the lowest possible score. With the plan in mind, they then focus by taking dead aim at each target, one shot at a time.
In planning your strategy, visualize the entire hole and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the length of the hole?
- Is the fairway wide or narrow?
- Is it flat, undulating or sloping?
- Is it straight away or a dog leg?
- What is the yardage from the tee to the trouble (bunkers, water, trees, etc.)?
- Where do I want to land my tee ball to avoid all the problems?
- Is there trouble around the green (water, sand bunkers, trees behind, etc.)?
- Is it better to hit short or long on this green?
- What is the size, shape, slope and speed of the green?
You may have lots of talent and skill, but if you don’t know how to think your way around the golf course, you aren’t going to play up to your potential. Here are some tips for planning your strategy:
- Play the percentages. Don’t expect to hit your best shot. Hit the shot that you can hit 75% of the time.
- Hit the ball in the fairway. Sometimes that is easier said than done. Know where the widest part of the fairway is and hit to the largest landing area. This may require using a 3-wood instead of a driver. Know exactly how far it is to avoid the fairway bunkers.
- Use the same pre-shot routine on every shot. You will have more consistent results if your routine is consistent. Then your brain will know exactly what to do.
- Consider the risk vs. reward. When you plan your shot, allow for a margin of error.
- Long shots into the green. Hit to the center of the green.
- Par 3’s: Know where to miss it away from any possible trouble spots. Plan to land the ball where you haven’t short sided the next shot. Give yourself the best angle to hit to the green. If the pin is on the left, tee your ball up on the right and vice versa.
- Par 4’s: Use the terrain of the hole to help you put the tee ball on a flat fairway lie. If you miss the fairway, knowing the layout of the hole will enable you to change your strategy for the best possible recovery. Short par 4’s usually have subtle trouble. Use less than a driver for position play.
- Par 5’s: These longer holes give you one more chance to recover. If you have to lay-up, place the ball where you can hit a full shot and have a good opening into the green.
- Remain positive. Indecision is the enemy of golfers. There are many ways to be indecisive, not just in club selection. Make a mental blueprint of your path to the hole. Decide on a specific target area for each shot and aim at it. Believe in your ability to hit it there!
- Stick to your game plan. If you are behind in your plan, don’t press and try harder. Be patient. Make up your mind that everything has happened to help you.
Play “in the zone” with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances
To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart
If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at email@example.com or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.
“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.
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